The 9-12 Project of Central PA

"You Are NOT Alone!"

To all,

I have started the repository on the discussion boards to capture some of the most important posts, resources and links that have been shared. You will find the characteristics of the board below...

The repository is a living document.

I hope all will participate and populate this thread with useful information and topics concerning current events, self-sufficiency, and independence over the upcoming days and weeks.

So, check back often!

Regards,

shawn

Views: 249

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Crisis! How Would You Respond?

Four experts explore what it takes to survive a crisis – and offer tips on how to prepare.

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/crisis-how-would-you-respond

By Colette Bouchez

WebMD Feature Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

From man-made catastrophes like 9-11; to the natural devastation seen in earthquakes, tsunamis and, of course, hurricane Katrina; to disasters of fate like plane crashes and wild fires -- chances appear alarmingly high that somewhere, sometime, somehow, your life may be touched by a crisis.

How would you react if it happened? Do you have what it takes to not only survive disaster but perhaps even lead others out of danger?

If you're pretty sure you'd do OK, you're not alone. Disaster expert Anie Kalayjian says research shows most folks believe they have what it takes to survive a crisis.

"We often fantasize about what we would do or how we would act, and we often feel positive about our ability to handle a crisis when it occurs, says Kalayjian, a professor at Fordham University and founder of MeaningfulWorld.com.

Unfortunately, Kalayjian says, research shows people often don't react as well as they think they will.

"In at least one study, where people were asked to write down how they would react in a fire, follow-up showed that when a fire actually did occur, hardly anyone did what they thought they would do," says Kalayjian.

Most, she says, panicked and were far more excitable than they predicted.

Lehigh University psychologist Nick Ladany, PhD, says he's not surprised. "It can be very difficult to predict how we will react in a crisis situation. We would all like to think of ourselves as that Hollywood hero or heroine who saves the day, but in reality that's more often the exception than the rule."

The Crisis Personality: Who Survives Best

Experts say the ability to live in the moment -- and react based strictly on what is present -- is among the most important factors in handling a crisis of any type.

"Being in the moment does not mean being unaware of the consequences of any actions you take; it means you do not have a prejudgment about those consequences," says Kalayjian.

This, she says, keeps you from panicking over what could happen, and keeps a person focused on what is happening.

Likewise, Al Siebert, PhD, says the best survivors are the ones who are able to "read" the new reality rapidly, focus on problem solving, and take practical action -- all within the moment.

"There's a fair amount of flexibility needed -- the personality who can adapt quickly to changes and feel certain about their ability to do so is usually the type that handles a crisis well," says Siebert, author of The Resiliency Advantage and founding director of ResiliencyCenter.com.

Ladany says the ability to keep emotions under control is also key.

"You can't be plagued with ruminative anxiety. You can't agonize about the consequences of a decision. Those who function best in a crisis are those who can be comfortable with ambiguity in a heightened sense," says Ladany.

Also important is having a solid value system. Indeed, the more emphasis we put on material goods, experts say, the less likely we are to cope when the threat of losing those goods becomes a reality.

"If the meaning of your life is wrapped around material things, then you will be shattered at the thought of losing everything, which can happen in 10 seconds when disaster strikes," says Kalayjian.

Conversely, if your purpose and meaning in life is greater than your worldly possessions, then she says, you can lose everything and still not lose the key to survival.

"It's a matter of strong will and purposeful will. Niche says if you have a why to live you can live with any how. But you must have a purpose, because that is what can keep you alive," Kalayjian says.

Nature vs. Nurture

Now, if you're thinking all these survivor qualities are bred into our personality, guess again. All the experts we talked to tell WebMD that the ability to champion a crisis is a learned behavior and not the result of your DNA.

"Although it's probably easier to think that genetics play a big role in the ability to deal with crisis, the data simply doesn't support this notion," says Ladany.

Indeed, experts say the crisis behaviors we exhibit as an adult are frequently rooted in what we learn as children, often causing us to react without even thinking.

"If a child is in a car accident and the entire family becomes hysterical, then the child learns that this is how you react to crisis," says Kalayjian. "At a young age, we don't have a psychological sorting process to reason out that our parents are going overboard."

Experience this kind of family reaction to crisis enough times, she says, and it's almost like having it hardwired into your brain.

"As a child you have no experience, no comparison, no judgment -- so you just think, 'Oh, this is what I am supposed to do in crisis,' and that can lay down the groundwork for how you will react as an adult," says Kalayjian

What also matters: How well you weathered the storm of a previous crisis in your life.

"My 40-some years of research into the nature of life's most resilient survivors shows that experience in coping with and surviving previous emergencies and tragedies is the best preparation for handling new ones," says Siebert.

Experience Counts

Indeed, he adds that nothing prepares one for a crisis like a crisis -- even if the two events differ dramatically. "The very act of surviving one crisis helps us survive another," he says.

Maurice Ramirez, DO, relates the concept back to a phenomenon known as "plasticity" -- a desensitizing of sorts that occurs as we are exposed to adversity.

"If you become desensitized to one type of crisis, you will function better in all crisis situations, even if the crisis is different and requires different things from you. Science shows it carries over from one area of life to another," says Ramirez, founding director of the American College of Disaster Medicine and founder of High-Alert.com.

Conversely, Siebert says, if you're the classic 'drama queen' (or king) with a past that is checkered with emotional outbursts, this will also impact your crisis reaction.

"If you are someone who 'awfulizes' things, focuses intently on losses ... If you have a tendency to act like a victim, these are the kind of characteristics that can keep you from coping with a crisis, and often cause you to make things worse for yourself and for others," says Seibert.

In this respect, looking back to how you reacted in the past -- even to a small crisis within your own family -- will, say experts, give you some clue as to how well you will react in the future.

Crisis-Proof Your Life

Regardless of where you fall on the crisis-coping scale, experts say you can take positive steps to help ensure you will function better in any problematic situation, big or small.

"People with all kinds of personalities can develop good skills, strengths, and abilities for coping with disasters, crises, and emergencies. It takes practice and learning, but it can be done," says Siebert.

Kalyajian agrees, "We must definitely encourage people that they can do something at any age to better prepare themselves to deal with crisis. It is somewhat a learned response."

Where do you start? Experts say any type of disaster training program will help train you for any kind of disaster.

"There are deliberate education programs -- disaster life training courses -- that can provide the kind of repetitive, psycho-motor activity that helps enforce good response behaviors. Knowledge is power and practice is what sets it in concrete," says Ramirez.

"Even doing something as simple as taking a first aid course or learning CPR can teach you how it feels to intervene in a crisis situation and give you some extra measure of confidence going into a real crisis -- even if it has nothing to do with CPR," Ladany says.

What can also help? Laying down a few ground rules about what you and your family will do if disaster strikes.

"Every family should have some kind of plan and at least one relative or friend in another state designated as the command central, someone they can each call if they should get separated," says Ramirez. Making sure to always have emergency phone money is also a must.

Also important is preparing yourself emotionally for the inevitability of crisis and accepting the idea that things are going to happen that are out of your control.

"If you can accept the fact that nothing except your breath is under your control, you'll be far less likely to panic during any situation in which control must be surrendered," says Kalayjian.

Lastly, Ladany reminds us that when looking to find a leader during a crisis, never confuse confidence with competence.

"There are plenty of people who sound like they know what they are talking about but in reality couldn't think their way out of an unlocked room," he says.

To better survive any crisis, experts say you should rely on common sense, be flexible and ready to change course in an instant, stay in the moment, and never be afraid to question the plan -- or the planner.
This article is well worth the time for review.

swanson

Everyday Survival

http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/2008/08/everyday-survival/l...

Most survival guides fail to consider some very useful tools: an individual’s character, wits, and worldview. The tips assembled here will change the way you approach each and every day—and help you survive a particularly bad one.

Text by Laurence Gonzales

Long ago I believed that survival meant having a pack full of equipment that would allow me to make fire and build shelter and trap varmints to eat in the wilderness. But then I kept coming across cases in which someone had survived without any equipment or had perished while in possession of all the right tools.

Obviously something else was at work here. After more than three decades of analyzing who lives, who dies, and why, I realized that character, emotion, personality, styles of thinking, and ways of viewing the world had more to do with how well people cope with adversity than any type of equipment or training. Although I still believe that equipment and training are good to have, most survival writing leaves out the essential human element in the equation. That’s why I’ve concentrated my efforts on learning about the hearts and minds of survivors.

You can start developing these tools of survival now. It takes time and deliberate practice to change. But new research shows that if we adjust our everyday routines even slightly, we do indeed change.

The chemical makeup of the brain even shifts. To make these lessons useful, you have to engage in learning long before you need it—it’s too late when you’re in the middle of a crisis. Presented here are 14 concepts that have proved helpful to survivors in extreme situations, as well as to people trying to meet the challenges of daily life.

1. Do the Next Right Thing

"Debriefings of survivors show repeatedly that they possess the capacity to break down the event they are faced with into small, manageable tasks," writes John Leach, a psychology professor at Lancaster University who has conducted some of the only research on the mental, emotional, and psychological elements of survival.

"Each step, each chunk must be as simple as possible.... Simple directed action is the key to regaining normal psychological functioning." This approach can sometimes seem counterintuitive. And yet almost any organized action can help you recover the ability to think clearly and aid in your survival.

For example, Pvt. Giles McCoy was aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis when it was torpedoed and sank at the end of World War II, tossing some 900 men into the black of night and the shark-infested Pacific. McCoy, a young Marine, was sucked under the boat and nearly drowned.

He surfaced into a two-inch-thick slick of fuel oil, which soaked his life vest and kept him from swimming—although he could see a life raft, he couldn’t reach it. So he tore off his vest and swam underwater, surfacing now and then, gasping, swallowing oil, and vomiting. After getting hoisted onto the raft, he saw a group of miserable young sailors covered in oil and retching. One was "so badly burned that the skin was stripped from his arms," Doug Stanton writes in his gripping account of the event, In Harm’s Way. McCoy’s response to this horrific situation was telling.

"He resolved to take action: He would clean his pistol." Irrelevant as that task may sound, it was exactly the right thing to do: organized, directed action. He made each one of the sailors hold a piece of the pistol as he disassembled it.

This began the process of letting him think clearly. Forcing your brain to think sequentially—in times of crisis and in day-to-day life—can quiet dangerous emotions.

2. Control Your Destiny

Julian Rotter, a professor of psychology at the University of Connecticut, developed the concept of what he calls "locus of control." Some people, he says, view themselves as essentially in control of the good and bad things they experience—i.e., they have an internal locus of control. Others believe that things are done to them by outside forces or happen by chance: an external locus. These worldviews are not absolutes. Most people combine the two. But research shows that those with a strong internal locus are better off.

In general, they’re less likely to find everyday activities distressing. They don’t often complain, whine, or blame. And they take compliments and criticism in stride. The importance of this mentality is evidenced by tornado statistics. In the past two decades Illinois has had about 50 percent more twisters than Alabama but far fewer fatalities.

The discrepancy can be explained, in part, by a study in the journal Science, which found that Alabama residents believed their fate was controlled by God, not by them. The people of Illinois, meanwhile, were more inclined to have confidence in their own abilities and to take action. This doesn’t mean we should be overconfident.

Rather, we should balance confidence with reasonable doubt, self-esteem with self-criticism. And we should do this each day. As Al Siebert put it in his book The Survivor Personality, "Your habitual way of reacting to everyday events influences your chances of being a survivor in a crisis."

3. Deny Denial

It is in our nature to believe that the weather will improve, that we’ll find our way again, or that night won’t fall on schedule. Denial, which psychologists call the "incredulity response," is almost universal, even among individuals with excellent training.

David Klinger, a retired Los Angeles police officer, describes in his book Into the Kill Zone that while moonlighting as a bank guard he saw "three masked figures with assault rifles run through the foyer of the bank." His first thought was that the local SWAT team was practicing. His second was that they were dressed up for Halloween. Klinger later said, "[I thought] maybe they were trick-or-treaters. It was just disbelief." (He did recover from denial to shoot the criminals.) One of the most common acts of denial is ignoring a fire alarm.

When my daughters were little, I taught them that the sound of a fire alarm means that we must go outside. Standing in front of a hotel at about two o’clock one cold Manhattan morning, I explained to them that it was nicer to be on the street wishing we were inside rather than inside wishing we were on the street.

Denial plays a large role in many wilderness accidents. Take getting lost. A hiker in denial will continue walking even after losing the trail, assuming he’ll regain it eventually. He’ll press on—and become increasingly lost—even as doubt slowly creeps in. Learn to recognize your tendency to see things not as they are but how you wish them to be and you’ll be better able to avoid such crises.

4. Use a Mantra

In a long and trying survival situation, most people need a mantra. Ask: What will keep me focused on getting home alive? Then learn your mantra before you need it. For Steve Callahan, adrift in a raft for 76 days, his mantra was simply the word "survival."

Over and over during the ordeal, he’d say things like "Concentrate on now, on survival." Yossi Ghinsberg, a hiker who was lost in the Bolivian jungle for three weeks, repeatedly used the mantra "Man of action" to motivate himself. Often, a mantra hints at some deeper meaning. Ghinsberg, for example, explained it this way:

"A man of action does whatever he must, isn’t afraid, and doesn’t worry." My personal mantra is "Trust the process." Once I’ve gone through the steps of creating a strategy, I continue telling myself to trust that the process will get me where I’m going.

5. Think Positive

Viktor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning recounts the story of Jerry Long, who was 17 years old when he broke his neck in a diving accident. Long was completely paralyzed and had to use a stick held between his teeth to type. Long wrote, "I view my life as being abundant with meaning and purpose. The attitude that I adopted on that fateful day has become my personal credo for life: I broke my neck, it didn’t break me."

Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, would agree with this sentiment. Dweck studies individual learning habits, specifically how people grapple with difficult problems.

According to her research, individuals with a "growth mindset"—those who are not discouraged in the face of a challenge, who think positively, and who are not afraid to make or admit mistakes—are able to learn and adjust faster and more easily overcome obstacles.

6. Understand Linked Systems

In complex systems, small changes can have large, unpredictable effects. I wrote an article for Adventure (September 2002) about an accident on Mount Hood in which a four-man team fell from just below the summit while roped together. On the way down, they caught a two-man team and dragged them down too. Three hundred feet below, the falling mass of people and rope caught another three-man team. Everyone wound up in a vast crevasse.

Then, during the ensuing rescue attempt by the military, an Air Force Reserve Pave Hawk helicopter crashed and rolled down the mountain. Because of the complex and coupled nature of the system in which all these people and all this equipment were operating, what had begun as a slip of one man’s foot wound up killing three people, severely injuring others, and costing taxpayers millions in the rescue effort.

Accidents are bound to happen. But they don’t have to happen to you if you recognize your role in a system.

Driving bumper to bumper at highway speeds, waiting for someone to tap his brakes and start a chain reaction accident is one example. Having a retirement account heavily invested in the stock market is another. A small move by a few investors can send everyone stampeding for the door. Being aware of such systems and analyzing the forces involved can often reveal that we’re doing something much riskier than it seems.


7. Don’t Celebrate the Summit

Climbers learn this the hard way: Don’t congratulate yourself too much after reaching a goal. The worst part of the expedition may still be ahead. Statistically speaking, most mountaineering accidents happen on the descent.

Celebrating at the halfway point encourages you to let down your guard when you’re already tired and stressed.

8. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Every new challenge you face actually causes your brain to rewire itself and to become more adaptable. A study at University College London showed that the city’s cab drivers possessed unusually large hippocampi, the part of the brain that makes mental maps of our surroundings.

The fact that London has very strict requirements for cab drivers forced them to create good mental maps, which caused their hippocampi to grow. For most of us, a normal routine at work, home, and play will provide plenty of opportunities for simple mind-expanding exercises.

For example, if you’re right-handed, use your left hand. Learning to write with your nondominant hand can be extremely challenging and builds a part of your brain that you don’t use much. Learn a new mental skill, such as chess or counting cards for blackjack. Learn a musical instrument or a foreign language.

A recent study suggests that Chinese uses entirely different parts of the brain than Western languages. Take tasks that require no thought and re-invent them so that you have to think.

This bears repeating: Survival is not about equipment and training alone. It’s about what’s in your mind and your emotional system. Living in a low-risk environment dulls our abilities. We must make a conscious effort to learn new things, to force ourselves out of our comfort zones.

9. Risk and Reward

The more you sacrifice to reach a goal—and the more you invest in it—the harder it becomes to change direction, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that you should alter your course. Recently I decided to clean the leaves out of the gutters on my house. I put up a big aluminum extension ladder that is a real pain to move.

I was up there, 20 feet in the air, reaching to clean as far as I could without moving the ladder. And I looked down and thought, Is this worth a broken neck? Or should I just go down and move the ladder?

I performed a similar mental exercise in the Canadian Rockies this spring. I had traveled there to give a talk to a group of safety experts and decided to do some exploring. But I had no gear with me. As I crept farther and farther up a twisty mountain road in a rental truck, it began to snow pretty hard. And I thought, I’ve seen some pretty good scenery already.

What if this vehicle of unknown origin breaks down or gets stuck? Do I want to try walking out in my cotton clothes and city shoes in a blizzard just to see one more vista? I decided that it would be most embarrassing to become a statistic in one of my own stories. I call this thought exercise the "risk-reward loop."

When facing a hazard, always ask: What is the reward I’m seeking? What is the most I’m willing to pay for it?

10. Trust Your Instincts

Be careful who you go into the backcountry with. Some people just have it stamped on their foreheads: "I am going to die in a wilderness accident." But to recognize this stamp, you must pay attention to some very subtle signals.

Researchers such as Elaine Hatfield at the University of Hawaii and Paul Ekman at the National Institutes of Health have studied nonverbal communication since the 1960s and concluded that it conveys essential information, which we ignore at our peril. It can be anything from a gesture to a slight change in facial expression.

Most people will respond to such signals by feeling either comfortable or ill at ease with someone for no known reason. In a culture like ours, which puts more emphasis on logic and reason, nonverbal signs are easy to dismiss. Pay attention. They mean something.

11. Know Plan B

When undertaking anything risky, always have a clear bailout plan. In November 2004 I wrote about the hazards of Mount Washington for this magazine, recounting the death of two ice climbers who had evidently not planned beyond reaching the summit.

When a storm blew in during the middle of their climb, they could have made an easy rappel to the bottom. Instead, following the only plan they had, they continued toward the top, where they died of exposure. Similar failures occur in all areas of life.

When the IBM PC was released in 1981, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) continued to follow its outdated plan, building minicomputers that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a result, DEC, the second largest maker of computers in the world, went out of business.

When formulating a bailout plan, it’s important to establish parameters by which to make the decision. For example, if you aren’t on the summit by three o’clock, you must turn back. Or if you have lost $100 million, you must end the project. Whatever the criterion, make sure it’s specific.

Then, when you’re brain’s not working well because of stress or exhaustion, you’ll still make the right decision.

12. Help Others

In a survival situation, tending to others transforms you from a victim into a rescuer and improves your chances.

Psychology professor John Leach writes in his book Survival Psychology that in disasters, natural and otherwise, doctors and nurses have a better survival rate because they have a job to do and a responsibility to others.

This same phenomenon was documented in the Nazi death camps, where people who helped those around them stood a far better chance of surviving.

Practice being selfless in daily life and it will become second nature when disaster strikes.

13. Be Cool

Acting cool is not the same as being cool. As the head of training for the Navy SEALs once said, "The Rambo types are the first to go." Siebert wrote in his book The Survivor Personality that "combat survivors . . . have a relaxed awareness."

People who are destined to be good at survival will get upset when something bad happens, but they will quickly regain emotional balance and immediately begin figuring out what the new reality looks like, what the new rules are, and what they can do about it.

In the past few decades, technologies like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have allowed researchers such as Bruce McEwen at Rockefeller University to demonstrate that stress changes the shape and chemistry of the brain, resulting in trouble remembering, difficulty completing tasks, and altered behavior. In effect, losing your cool makes you stupid.

Examine the way you handle yourself under pressure: Do you blow up when you’re stuck in traffic or when someone cuts you off? Are you able to accept failure philosophically and move on with resolve to do better next time? If you’re rejected—in love, in business, in sports—do you stew over it?

Practice being calm in the face of small emergencies and you’ll be more prepared to deal with large ones.

14. Surrender, but Don’t Give Up

The concept of surrender is at the heart of the survival journey. While that may sound paradoxical, it starts to make sense when you realize your limitations. If you are terrified, for example, you are more vulnerable in a hazardous situation.

Ahmed Abdullah is an Iraqi journalist. When the war began, he found that he was horrified by the violence and in constant fear of dying. After years of combat experience, he explained the concept of survival by surrender: "Don’t be afraid of anything," he said during a recent radio broadcast.

"If you are afraid, then you have to lock yourself inside your house. But if you want to keep on living, then you must forget about your fears and deal with death as something that is a must, something that’s going to happen anyway. Even if you don’t die this way, you can die normally, naturally.... Whatever [you] do, [you’re] not going to change this."

Once you surrender and let go of the outcome, it frees you to act much more sensibly. It actually puts you in a better position to survive, to retain that core inside of you that will never give up.

A good survivor says: "I may die. I’ll probably die. But I’m going to keep going anyway."
SURVIVAL PRIMER; POSITIVE SELF-TALK IN A CRISIS

Self confidence is a fairly deciding factor in survival that gets overlooked. Often, the difference between surviving a stressful situation and/or weathering a storm is your belief in self and what matters most to you.

We lose self confidence through negative self talk. How many times in the past have you caught yourself saying “I can’t” or uttering the half-hearted “I’ll try” that is usually followed by a mediocre effort and failure in the end?

Negative self-deprecating talk can kill you or hamper your success in the face of great odds.

So, Negative self-talk must be replaced with positive self-talk to bolster your self confidence in a crisis and to help you make a go at it when the odds seem against you.

You must tell yourself that you will win and survive when your life is on the line. It is imperative.

So, reprogram your mind to reinforce your efforts through positive self talk to create a better, more productive reality in your mind’s eye.

Affirm what you want and get rid of the negative.

Here’s how to stop the negative self talk, hard wiring that many of us mentally adopt and replace it with useful and positive self-talk; build your self-esteem and self worth and achieve your intended results –

The following is an excerpt from Wes Doss’ book, Condition to win:

http://www.amazon.com/Condition-Win-Techniques-Performance-Conditio...

1. Become Aware of Self-talk. …The first step in gaining control over self-talk is by increasing awareness of what warriors tend to say to themselves both in training and in operational situations, as well as the typical situations where these thoughts occur…

2. Stop the Negative. Once the negative self-talk is identified, the warrior needs to learn to “knock it off!” This of course, is much easier said than done! Saying, “knock it off!” or visualizing a stop sign are good positive cues to help halt negative thoughts.

3. Replace with Positive. Imagine that the mind is like a bowl- If it is filled to the brim with positive thoughts, there will be no room for negative self talk. Warriors need to identify positive self talk in advance and replace the negative thoughts with identified positive ones.

4. Practice Thought Stopping. A final step is to practice, practice, practice stopping and replacing negative self talk. For awhile, warriors will have to be very conscious of their internal self-talk as the thought-stopping technique will not occur automatically. With enough practice, positive self talk will become second nature…”

Here’s a definition of self-talk that’s useful…

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.leadership-and-motiv...

“Self-talk is your mental evaluation/judgment of your behavior and performance. In other words it is the conversation that goes on in your mind after you have done something.”

Are you utilizing self talk to your advantage?

What do you think?
SURVIVAL PRIMER; COOPERATING WITH OTHERS

As it’s said - “NO MAN is an Island.”

EXPECT CONTACT

Survival and disaster scenarios rarely will put you in total isolation. If you do get stranded, it will most likely be with others. Depending on the situation, you may also become a refugee despite your best efforts not to be. Are you prepared for that likelihood?

Hence, it should be part of every survival plan to be ready for this set of possibilities and expect contact with others.

During a crisis, it’s likely you will be cooperating with members of your own family, friends, and/or co-workers as well as other neighborhood dwellers and the local and/or Federal authorities that may be on the scene or involved.

You should expect contact with all sorts of people and be prepared to liaise on occasion with others in the very least.

The best option is to be ready to liaise well in advance of a crisis.

THE VALUE OF GROUPS AND COOPERATION

Life involves others.

When it comes to survival, how can you make this dynamic work for you?

If you are fortunate enough to have others you trust and know that are interested in networking or becoming a part of a volunteer group interested in survival, cooperation, and/or self sufficiency, a great deal of benefits can be gained by planning and assembling your cooperative efforts together and prior to any potential disruption or event.

Here are some examples -

• Security. An extended Neighborhood Watch can be formed to look after the safety and security of those involved. Contact with local Law Enforcement is often more receptive if a watch is known of and put in place before an emergency arises.

• Transportation. A shuttle for evacuation, relocation, or resupply can be formed amongst those participating in a volunteer effort.

• Shelter. A volunteer group may be able to provide temporary or longer term shelter in the advent of the need to relocate during a disaster or survival scenario.

• Distribution points. Distribution points can be preplanned by volunteer group members to insure that critical goods and are available to members.

• Communications. Volunteers can relay critical information amongst its membership during a crisis as well as liaise with the authorities when called for.

• Training and skill sets. Group volunteers will have valuable skill sets to share and potentially provide cross training opportunities for others making the group’s efforts at surviving disaster even more possible.

Being organized pre-planned, and able to evoke the needed hands in times of crisis will set most of the volunteer members of a group light-years ahead of others facing the same crisis or set of circumstances; which is the whole point to begin with.

The greatest benefit a volunteer group has is being able to supply effort on demand. When a hazard or threat arises, there will be plenty of folks to lend a hand and deal with it.

MAKING USE OF PREEXISTING ORGANIZATIONS

How do you make your local government and agencies useful to your survival efforts?

There’s no better a way for a group of like-minded individuals to gather local intelligence and assess any potential response by the authorities to a crisis in your area than to externally liaise with them.

The more you know about how your local and regional governments and organizations respond and plan for potential threats and crisis, the better off you will be.

Every organization has its strengths and weaknesses. Start assessing how the local governmental apparatuses view disasters and their preparedness levels before a disaster strikes.

Here’s a list of places to start your external liaising efforts on a local level –

Contact:

• Your Mayor’s Office, County Commissioners, and local Councilmen’s Assembly.
• Your Local law Enforcement and Sheriff’s office.
• Your city and county fire departments, and EMS Services.
• Your local hospitals and/or primary care facilities.
• Your District Representatives to the legislature.

The more you know the better off you will be…

To help develop your personal and group preparedness, here’s some things to ask when contacting these organizations:

• Where’s the nearest office and who is the local contact/representative?
• Does the organization offer any educational or training opportunities?
• Does the organization accept any affiliate groups? And what groups are affiliates already?
• Are there any reaction or contingency plans in place in the area you live in and what are they?
• Does this organization offer any equipment, grants or assistance that can be made use of?

This should give you or any group of volunteers a decent start in being able to effectively liaise and handle a crisis scenario.

Make use of what’s already in place and survive!!!
Survivors and independent people are Polymaths

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."— Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

Here’s my twist on Mr. Heinlein’s immortal quote…

"A human being should be able to raise their children without governmental interference, be smart about paying income tax, plant a garden, hunt for game, live for extended periods in the field, be a leader always, know your limits, follow when necessary, supply effort on demand, fix a software problem, call bullshit, build a fire with two sticks, use defensive tools effectively, and never die on his knees. Blind sublimation of the spirit to another’s will and desires is for the faint of heart.". - Swanson

In this day and age, we must all develop our skills and aptitudes across a broad spectrum of endeavors.

Instead of having someone else do “it” for you, do it for yourself – carpentry, gardening, self-defense, auto mechanics, and other life skills are there for the learning IF you take the time and interest to become a polymath with self-sufficiency in mind.

Start by examining your life and set your ego aside long enough to admit where you could learn something more and increase your own independence.

A brave new world is forming around us just like the one our forefathers experienced; danger and opportunity abound- be ready.

Are you cultivating the skills you need to compete, survive, and thrive like the renaissance men that have come before us?

swanson


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymath

A polymath (Greek polymaths "having learned much")[1] is a person whose knowledge is not restricted to one subject area. In less formal terms, a polymath (or polymathic person) may simply refer to someone who is very knowledgeable. Most ancient scientists were polymaths by today’s standards.[2]
SELF-SUFFICIENCY AND SELF RELIANT LIVING

THE EMERGENCY FUND YOU CAN EAT

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveMoney/TheEme...

Food to last a few weeks may be the surest way to conserve cash. Could you go more than a few days without visiting a grocery store? Here are six simple steps to a smart pantry.

By Liz Pulliam Weston

Having a substantial cash emergency fund is an important financial goal, but it's not an easy one. Building up enough savings to cover three months' worth of expenses can take some families years to accomplish, as they struggle with more pressing goals, such as paying off credit card debt and saving for retirement.

Fortunately, there's another kind of emergency fund that's a lot easier to put together: a well-stocked pantry.

Having just two weeks' worth of food on hand can:

Tide you over through a short period of unemployment, a shortfall before payday or any other occasion when you need to conserve cash.

Prepare you for an emergency, such as a natural disaster.

Save you money, if you do it right.

Save you stress, since there will always be something to cook for dinner.

Pantries actually predate rainy-day funds as a way to protect families from the unforeseen, but many people never learned the habit of stocking up -- or they've been going about it the wrong way, as I did for many years.

The key to a good pantry is actually pretty simple: You need to store food you actually eat.

Not "food you might resort to in a dire emergency" or "food some leftover Y2K calculator says you should stock." Food you actually eat, right now.

Because otherwise your pantry becomes a food mausoleum, another well-intentioned idea that doesn't quite work, costs you a pile of money and ultimately gets abandoned when you get sick of looking at all the dusty bags of soy flour.

I speak from experience. I can't tell you how many years I hung onto crumbling bags of ramen noodles, unwilling to admit that -- after using them as a staple in my diet during some lean years -- I was never, ever going to eat ramen noodles again. I'd go rummaging for grubs on the nearby hillside first.

(I'm not the only one who's preserved food over common sense. My editor, good Southern boy that he is, admits hauling a can of turnip greens through not just one but two moves. If the desire to be prepared and not to waste has ever resulted in food you couldn't in good conscience even give away, then you can relate.)

Fortunately, a smart pantry is fairly simple to set up with these steps:

First, think about what you eat morning, noon and night. Our usual breakfasts, for example, consist of cold cereal, oatmeal or pancakes with milk and some kind of fresh fruit or juice. Lunches are sandwiches (we have a big peanut-butter fan in the house) with milk and fruit.

Build an emergency fund

It's a stash of cash, but how much do you need? Here are some guidelines and why this should take priority over other savings goals.

Dinners usually involve chicken breasts, ground turkey or pasta with side dishes that typically include salad and vegetables. (As you can probably tell, we're not gourmets, but we eat well.) Since we have a preschooler, goldfish crackers and various cookies are on the menu; you'll probably want to include snacks and desserts when you make your list.
If you eat out a lot, you may be stumped at first. Just focus on meals you could make easily at home, preferably ones without too many ingredients. Once you have these foodstuffs on hand, who knows? You may actually start cooking once in a while.

Figure out roughly how much of these foods you'd eat in two weeks. Coming up with a basic pantry list is as easy as listing the ingredients in those most commonly eaten meals, and making sure you have enough to make three squares a day for two weeks for everyone in the family, plus one. (The "plus one" is either a fudge factor, or a way to accommodate an unexpected guest in an emergency.) Make sure you think about everything that goes into your meals -- eggs for the pancake batter, olive oil for the pasta, potatoes to go with the meatloaf, for example. Don't forget to include the pets and commonly used supplies like diapers, toilet paper and paper towels. If anyone's on medication, a two-week supply of that is prudent as well.

Come up with some rational substitutes. We eat a lot of fresh and frozen foods, which are both problematic. It's tough to keep enough produce and dairy on hand to last two weeks; too much of it will spoil before you use it up. Frozen foods are great until the power goes out; even if you don't open the door much, the contents of a freezer will start to thaw within a couple of days.



Our plan in a disaster or blackout, then, is to eat out of the fridge first, then move on the freezer, keeping all the shelf-stable pantry foods like pasta, canned chili and rice for last.

Canned and dry foods can substitute for fresh, but only if you at least occasionally eat them. If you can't stand the taste of canned vegetables, for example, it makes little sense to stock them. Better to buy a few more cans or shelf-stable boxes of vegetable soup, if that's what you prefer and will actually consume now and then. There are plenty of good substitutes for fresh fruit, fortunately; we've got berries and fruit of various kinds in the freezer, dried blueberries, fruit juice and banana chips in the pantry, and canned peaches galore. All these are foods we eat at least occasionally now; we keep enough extra on hand to get us through at least a week without other fresh fruit.
Milk is another product you can stockpile in the freezer, by the way. Just remove about a half-cup from each gallon before freezing to compensate for expansion. We also keep bread, butter and cheese in our freezer, along with meats, vegetables and the occasional pizza.

Other products we stock include dry milk, evaporated milk and egg substitutes. I use these up before their expiration dates by incorporating them into cakes, cookies, puddings and other recipes. (Reconstituted dry milk by itself makes me gag, but I've found its taste to be undetectable in baked goods.)

Extend your definition of pantry. As long as you're preparing for emergency, think about what you'd need to cope with an extended period without power or water. The Red Cross has all kinds of information about what to have on hand, but at the very least you should have bottled water (a gallon per person per day for at least three days), sources of light (lanterns and flashlights, not just candles) and some kind of non-electric cooker. We've got propane stoves we use for camping, plus a good-old fashioned Weber barbecue (with several sacks of charcoal on hand). Just remember to cook outside. The point is not to survive the earthquake, windstorm or flood and then die of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Stock up as you go. Stocking a whole pantry in a single outing to the grocery store would be expensive, particularly if you're starting from scratch. A better approach is to look for sales of the items on your pantry list, and stock up then. Most stores have cycles for their sale items; if your store discounts your favorite brand of cereal every six weeks, for example, buying extra during those events will tide you through the weeks when the regular price is in force. Taking advantage of these cycles will ultimately save you money.

Build an emergency fund

It's a stash of cash, but how much do you need? Here are some guidelines and why this should take priority over other savings goals.

If you're short on space, you may wonder where to put all this food. Some folks stick the shelf-stable stuff in unlikely places, including under beds and in linen closets.

Personally, I need to see the food to remember to eat it, so I keep it in sight on shelves in the kitchen and in a nearby laundry room. Another possibility: Donate to charity all those kitchen appliances and pans you never use, along with the dusty soy flour, and park the food in that freed-up storage space.

Rotate. This means more than just putting your newly purchased cans on the shelf behind the older versions of the same food (although that's a good idea).

You need to patrol your refrigerator, pantry and freezer to make sure the food in your stockpile gets used before it goes bad. A daily glance through your fridge, a weekly inspection of your pantry shelves and a monthly tour of your freezer can alert you to what foods need to be incorporated in the coming days' meals.



Many products these days have "use by" dates on them. Some don't, though, so it might help to keep the above list and a black marker handy in your pantry so that you can write your own expiration dates right on the box, can or jar.

A pantry mentality also means you never run out of an essential. If you keep two big canisters of oatmeal on hand, as we do, you put "oatmeal" on your grocery-buying list as soon as the first canister is empty and you take its replacement from the pantry.

You may notice some side effects from your pantry experiment, including:

- Fewer panicked runs to the grocery store.
- Less waste as you get more conscientious about using up what you have.
- A healthier family, since foods prepared at home are better for you than most take-out.
- A desire to expand your pantry to last beyond two weeks.

If the latter hits you, go slow. You want to learn how to manage a smaller pantry before shooting for a bigger one, or otherwise you risk too much waste.

Once you get the hang of it, though, keeping a pantry stocked involves pretty minimal effort. And it has a huge payoff: peace of mind.

Columns by Liz Pulliam Weston, the Web's most-read personal finance writer, appear every Monday and Thursday, exclusively on MSN Money. She also answers reader questions on the Your Money message board.
SELF-SUFFICIENCY AND SELF RELIANT LIVING

Anyone here garden?

It's a great way to supplement your foodstuffs and save some cash as well.

My grandmother used to tell me about the victory garden she tended years ago, so I took an interest in the subject and started box gardening myself.

Here's a neat article concerning gardens -

Ten Vegetables You Can Grow in the Shade

http://www.inthegardenonline.com/picks_10vegforshadeC21.htm

It's a common misconception that the only site to grow vegetables in s one that's in full sun. For some vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, and squash, this is entirely true. But those of us who have shade are not doomed to a life without homegrown produce.

Basically, a good rule to remember is that if you grow a plant for the fruit or the root, it needs full sun. If you grow it for the leaves, stems, or buds, shade is just fine.

Keep in mind, no vegetable will grow in full shade. The following crops will produce with three to six hours of sun per day.


- Salad Greens, such as leaf lettuce, arugula, endive, cress, and radicchio
- Broccoli
- Cauliflower
- Peas
- Beets
- Brussels Sprouts
- Radishes
- Swiss Chard
- Leafy Greens, such as collards, mustard greens, spinach, and kale
- Beans

The best thing about knowing that these crops will successfully grow in some shade is that you'll be able to get more produce from your garden.

Suppose, like most home gardeners, you've sited the vegetable garden in the one area of your yard that gets full sun. Use that space to grow the sun-lovers: the peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, corn, and squashes. The other crops, those that do well in the shade, can be tucked in anywhere.

Grow some beets or swiss chard in your part-sun perennial border. Grow some lettuce or radishes in a container or window box. Make use of the space you have, in both sun and shade, can easily double the amount of vegetables you usually get. And homegrown produce, whether it's a fresh, juicy beefsteak tomato or a crisp, spicy radish, will spoil you forever against the bland, boring produce at your local grocer.

Being able to step out into your own yard to gather ingredients for an impromptu salad or side dish is a joy, and if you make the most of your space, you'll be harvesting the fruits of your labor from spring through fall, and quite possibly beyond.
ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LIFE - BEING A NAVIGATOR

MSG. Paul Howe in his book, LEADERSHIP AND TRAINING FOR THE FIGHT, made some great observations as well as reprinting some decent points by Author Charles J. Sykes concerning the “dumbing down” of our children and otherwise accepting responsibility for our lives.

What follows pretty much sums up the state of affairs we have slipped into in this Country as a whole and the fact that we need to get back in control of things faster than most would admit or like…

How did we let it get this far?...

http://www.amazon.com/LEADERSHIP-TRAINING-FIGHT-THOUGHTS-OPERATIONS...

http://shr1k.blogspot.com/2007/04/dumbing-down-our-kids-by-charles-...

From Mr. Sykes,

“Rule 1: Life is not fair; get used to it.

The average teen uses the phrase "it's not fair" 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When they started hearing it from their own kid, they realized Rule No. 1.

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated sel-esteem meets reality, kids complain that "it's not fair". (See Rule No. 1)

Rule 3: You will not make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.

And you won't be the Vice president or have a car phone either. You may even have to wear a uniform that doesn't have a GAP label.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.

When (not if) you screw up, he's not going to ask how you feel about it.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity.

They weren't embarrassed to work for minimum wage either. They would have been embarrassed to sit around talking about Curt Cobain all weekend.

Rule 6: If you screw up, it's not your parents' fault so don't whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.

When you turn 18, it's on your dime. Don't whine about it, or you'll sound like a baby boomer.

Rule 7: Before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way by paying your bills, cleaning your room, and listening to you tell how idealistic you are. So before you save the rain forest from the bloodsucking parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.



Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades, they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.



Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

...very few jobs are interested in fostering your own self-expression or helping you find yourself. Fewer still lead to self realization.

Rule 10: Television is not real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Your life is not a sitcom. Your problems will not all be solved in 30 minutes, minus time for commercials. In real life, people actually have to have jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.”

we all could and many already do.

Rule 12: Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic. Next time you're out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That's what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for "expressing yourself" with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.



Rule 13: You are not immortal. (See Rule No. 12.) If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven't seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.



Rule 14: Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school's a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you'll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now. You're welcome.



http://www.combatshootingandtactics.com/endorse.htm

In light of the above points, this from MSG. Paul Howe,

“Realize, right now, that you are the only one in control of your life. If you choose to make a change, excel, or just be happy, its ultimately up to you. You must believe this and put it into action to make it happen. Too many times individuals quit before they get started by blaming others for their misfortune.” …

… “The bottom line, don’t sell yourself short on your ability to change your own world.”…

… “Life is like a compass course. You move fast and get somewhere, but it may not be where you intended. The skilled navigator will study their map, look at the terrain and choose between the fast and slow routes to determine which is best for their journey. Many times, in difficult terrain, it is wise to pick out check points to insure you’re on the right track. Occasionally, you will need to pick your head up and look around and see where you are and if you’re making the progress you expected.”…

… “Sometimes you just need to look around and see what progress you’re making for the effort you’re putting out.”…

What do you think?
I received this list of priorities in another email from a co-worker.

I am not sure who originally composed these, but they are solid guidelines and heuristics to reach for if you are working as a part of a team in any survival/disaster situation or scenario.

swanson

OPERATOR AND TEAM PRIORITIES

1. If one is working we are all working.
2. If one is hurt we are all hurt.
3. If one is fighting we are all fighting.
4. You do what has to be done without having to be told.
5. We are all leaders.
6. None of us are too good for any task.
7. Quiet professionalism is the way.
8. Stay out of it until you've earned the right to get into it.
9. Actions drown out the whisper of words.
10. We may fight like cats and dogs with each other, but we will turn like a rapid pack on an outsider.
11. When you walk into that team room, you better be able to do your job to the level to which you were trained.
12. The maximum effective range of an excuse is exactly zero meters.
13. If the team calls, you go. It doesn't matter the hour or the mission.
14. Be the Teammate you want to have.
15. If you take, you owe. Back in the day, it wasn't just schools, bonuses were the same way.
16. Everything you do is a reflection on your team.17. You never refuse a teammate in need.18. Being accepted should be hard.
19. You are responsible for maintaining your skill sets. All our lives depend on it.
20. Improvement and selection is a continuous and ongoing process that ends the day we die.
21. No sniveling.
Why the Human Brain Is a Poor Judge of Risk

By Bruce Schneier

http://www.schneier.com/essay-162.html

March 22, 2007

The human brain is a fascinating organ, but it's an absolute mess. Because it has evolved over millions of years, there are all sorts of processes jumbled together rather than logically organized. Some of the processes are optimized for only certain kinds of situations, while others don't work as well as they could. There's some duplication of effort, and even some conflicting brain processes.

Assessing and reacting to risk is one of the most important things a living creature has to deal with, and there's a very primitive part of the brain that has that job. It's the amygdala, and it sits right above the brainstem, in what's called the medial temporal lobe. The amygdala is responsible for processing base emotions that come from sensory inputs, like anger, avoidance, defensiveness and fear. It's an old part of the brain, and seems to have originated in early fishes.

When an animal -- lizard, bird, mammal, even you -- sees, hears or feels something that's a potential danger, the amygdala is what reacts immediately. It's what causes adrenaline and other hormones to be pumped into your bloodstream, triggering the fight-or-flight response, causing increased heart rate and beat force, increased muscle tension and sweaty palms.

This kind of thing works great if you're a lizard or a lion. Fast reaction is what you're looking for; the faster you can notice threats and either run away from them or fight back, the more likely you are to live to reproduce.

But the world is actually more complicated than that. Some scary things are not really as risky as they seem, and others are better handled by staying in the scary situation to set up a more advantageous future response. This means there's an evolutionary advantage to being able to hold off the reflexive fight-or-flight response while you work out a more sophisticated analysis of the situation and your options for handling it.

We humans have a completely different pathway to cope with analyzing risk. It's the neocortex, a more advanced part of the brain that developed very recently, evolutionarily speaking, and only appears in mammals. It's intelligent and analytic. It can reason. It can make more nuanced trade-offs. It's also much slower.

So here's the first fundamental problem: We have two systems for reacting to risk -- a primitive intuitive system and a more advanced analytic system -- and they're operating in parallel. It's hard for the neocortex to contradict the amygdala.

In his book Mind Wide Open, Steven Johnson relates an incident when he and his wife lived in an apartment where a large window blew in during a storm. He was standing right beside it at the time and heard the whistling of the wind just before the window blew. He was lucky -- a foot to the side and he would have been dead -- but the sound has never left him:


Ever since that June storm, a new fear has entered the mix for me: the sound of wind whistling through a window. I know now that our window blew in because it had been installed improperly.... I am entirely convinced that the window we have now is installed correctly, and I trust our superintendent when he says that it is designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. In the five years since that June, we have weathered dozens of storms that produced gusts comparable to the one that blew it in, and the window has performed flawlessly.

I know all these facts -- and yet when the wind kicks up, and I hear that whistling sound, I can feel my adrenaline levels rise.... Part of my brain -- the part that feels most me-like, the part that has opinions about the world and decides how to act on those opinions in a rational way -- knows that the windows are safe.... But another part of my brain wants to barricade myself in the bathroom all over again.

There's a good reason evolution has wired our brains this way. If you're a higher-order primate living in the jungle and you're attacked by a lion, it makes sense that you develop a lifelong fear of lions, or at least fear lions more than another animal you haven't personally been attacked by. From a risk/reward perspective, it's a good trade-off for the brain to make, and -- if you think about it -- it's really no different than your body developing antibodies against, say, chicken pox based on a single exposure.

In both cases, your body is saying: "This happened once, and therefore it's likely to happen again. And when it does, I'll be ready." In a world where the threats are limited -- where there are only a few diseases and predators that happen to affect the small patch of earth occupied by your particular tribe -- it works.

Unfortunately, the brain's fear system doesn't scale the same way the body's immune system does. While the body can develop antibodies for hundreds of diseases, and those antibodies can float around in the bloodstream waiting for a second attack by the same disease, it's harder for the brain to deal with a multitude of lifelong fears.

All this is about the amygdala. The second fundamental problem is that because the analytic system in the neocortex is so new, it still has a lot of rough edges evolutionarily speaking. Psychologist Daniel Gilbert wrote a great comment that explains this:


The brain is a beautifully engineered get-out-of-the-way machine that constantly scans the environment for things out of whose way it should right now get. That's what brains did for several hundred million years -- and then, just a few million years ago, the mammalian brain learned a new trick: to predict the timing and location of dangers before they actually happened.

Our ability to duck that which is not yet coming is one of the brain's most stunning innovations, and we wouldn't have dental floss or 401(k) plans without it. But this innovation is in the early stages of development. The application that allows us to respond to visible baseballs is ancient and reliable, but the add-on utility that allows us to respond to threats that loom in an unseen future is still in beta testing.

A lot of the current research into the psychology of risk are examples of these newer parts of the brain getting things wrong.

And it's not just risks. People are not computers. We don't evaluate security trade-offs mathematically, by examining the relative probabilities of different events. Instead, we have shortcuts, rules of thumb, stereotypes and biases -- generally known as "heuristics."

These heuristics affect how we think about risks, how we evaluate the probability of future events, how we consider costs, and how we make trade-offs. We have ways of generating close-to-optimal answers quickly with limited cognitive capabilities. Don Norman's wonderful essay, Being Analog, provides a great background for all this.

Daniel Kahneman, who won a Nobel Prize in Economics for some of this work, talks (.pdf) about humans having two separate cognitive systems, one that intuits and one that reasons:

The operations of System 1 are typically fast, automatic, effortless, associative, implicit (not available to introspection) and often emotionally charged; they are also governed by habit and therefore difficult to control or modify. The operations of System 2 are slower, serial, effortful, more likely to be consciously monitored and deliberately controlled; they are also relatively flexible and potentially rule governed.

When you examine the brain heuristics about risk, security and trade-offs, you can find evolutionary reasons for why they exist. And most of them are still very useful. The problem is that they can fail us, especially in the context of a modern society. Our social and technological evolution has vastly outpaced our evolution as a species, and our brains are stuck with heuristics that are better suited to living in primitive and small family groups.

And when those heuristics fail, our feeling of security diverges from the reality of security.
I think this topic has a place here in the repository and may provide a framework of understanding the possibilities that can follow a collapsing economy.

Like Glenn Beck has said many times...What makes us different or not subject to the same things that fostered the economic collapse of the Soviet Union?

No nation is immune.

swanson

'Ferfal', made it through the hardships that occurred when Argentina's currency collapsed I believe in 2001.

He has some advice for Americans who he thinks are about to face the same thing...

http://ferfal.blogspot.com/2008/09/economy-crisis-in-usa.html

His key points and remarks -

Don’t open your big mouth!
It’s ok that you feel all nice and warm about the 1/5/whatever year food supply you already have, but there’s no need to talk about it with the guys at work, the neighbors, friends or even family that is not directly related.

Don’t waste your money!
How many times have we read about paper money only being good for TP after a crisis?
Though it may have happened in some extremely primitive nations, or countries destroyed by war, do not expect that to happen in USA. It wont.

Rather the other way around, you’ll consider it a precious commodity even more. As prices go up, you’ll save every penny.

If you already have savings you want to protect, buy precious metals, or if you have enough money, buy real estate. It’s a buyer’s market right now.

Don’t run for the hills
This isn’t a hurricane or flood, you can’t run from this.

Running to your bug out location and “living off the land” is a terrible idea, almost as stupid as thinking about quitting your day job to start growing corn.

Reduce your expenses.
There are few things you absolutely NEED. You don’t need the latest cell phone or Ipod, you don’t need to buy every gadget that hits the market.

Solidify you income source.
Do your job well, so that if 3 out of 4 guys get fired, your boss wont let you go. Make sure you are a valuable asset to the company, one of the last guys they’d think about when firing people.

Worry about personal protection.
It’s only a matter of time until you guys see crime getting worse than it already is.

Keep yourself (and your family) emotionally stable.
One of the things we noticed here in Argentina some time after the crisis was the emotional toll it had on people.

Have an emergency kit and food supplies.
This has been discussed for ages. Bug in kits, survival kits or whatever you want to call them. You’ll need a minimum amount of gear to get by during riots, blackouts or after natural disasters, specially since the government will already be somewhat crippled because of the economic crisis so these situations may become more common and will probably take longer to get solved.

Act like a damn adult.
Yes. I know most of you guys get it but you’d be surprised by the kind of losers that are within our beloved survivalist & preparedness community. Some people don’t get it even if you write it on their foreheads.

...

If your ambitions in life can be reduced to the ones of a dog, just eating and staying warm, that’s not much of a life.

It’s simply impossible to produce on your own everything you need if you want a life standard that sets you apart from an animal.

If you want more than that, don’t try to avoid the system, don’t turn your back on society like a weirdo, but try to take advantage of it and make it work in your favor.

This post turned out a bit messy but these are a few random ideas that I wanted to share given the context, and also given the similarities between what we went through and what seems to be going on in USA these days.

Take care everyone.

FerFAL
Special message from Obama! This is what they are sending!

Organizing for America
Kristine --

President Obama recorded a special message for you about the budget he's submitted to Congress and what you can do to help it pass.

Watch the video now and take action to make sure your representatives know you support this new direction:

Watch the video: http://my.barackobama.com/budgetaction

The budget President Obama has proposed isn't the same old document Washington has come to expect year after year.

Right now, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to finally confront the systemic problems that have held America back for far too long in energy, health care, and education.

But it's up to you to get involved and make it happen. Join a canvass this weekend and talk with everyone you know about the President's plan to secure long-term prosperity for our families.

After watching the President's video, you can also look up your elected representatives and let them know you support this new foundation for economic growth:

http://my.barackobama.com/budgetaction

Thanks,

David Plouffe

RSS

© 2022   Created by Web Master.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service